CCMAR researcher at the Blue Azores Expedition
David Abecasis is working in the Blue Azores Expedition promoted by the Blue Ocean Foundation and the National Geographic Society. He told us about the expedition and how is life on board.
David, what is your research interest in this expedition?
As part of the GAMPA (Grupo áreas marinhas protegidas dos Açores) team I'm interested in assessing and monitoring the biodiversity around the Azores islands, including areas inside and outside mpas. Besides that we will also be tagging some fish (dusky groupers and sharks) and that's also something that I'm really interested in.
How is life onboard the “Santa Maria Manuela”?
Busy! There’s always something happening - besides UVC there’s also different types of BRUVs, drop down cameras and “campaigns” to tag sharks, mobulas and groupers (meros). Thankfully the Santa Maria is a really nice ship with great conditions, and besides that the crew and everyone else is very helpful. Despite all the hard effort and the fact that everyone is very tired after so many days of non stop hard work the spirit is high and everyone’s happy and enjoying.
What do you expect to learn with this expedition?
To increase the knowledge on the biodiversity (including abundance) especially for some areas that are poorly studied. It will also be a great opportunity to establish contacts with the other members of the scientific team onboard (over 21 people from all over the world). There’s already lots of interesting stuff I’ve learned on very different topics